New hospital’s patients get more than TLC - East Valley Tribune: News

New hospital’s patients get more than TLC

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Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 1:49 am | Updated: 5:34 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Scottsdale Healthcare at Thompson Peak is taking a cue from the hotel industry. When the new north Scottsdale hospital opens its doors on Monday, it will be offering its “guests” a number of amenities, including a 24-hour concierge service and an espresso bar.

“We want to take personalized health care to the next level,” said Michelle Daniels, the hospital’s manager of hospitality services.

While hospitals have traditionally offered patients general support services — such as nutritional counseling — the industry trend has been moving toward concierge-style offerings within the past five years, Daniels said.

The goal is to take as much stress away from already-anxious patients, she said. That could be as simple as sending out the patients’ dry cleaning or making arrangements for pet sitting.

It’s a trend, hospital administrators say, that’s being fueled by public demand.

“People expect hospitals to meet more than just their physical needs,” said Jean Knoedler, vice president and administrator of Scottsdale Healthcare at Thompson Peak, speaking at the facility’s dedication last week.

Knoedler said the hospital’s community advisory committee — a 20-member panel comprised of former patients and community members — suggested that patients’ emotional needs also be addressed.

Scottsdale Healthcare is piloting the round-the-clock concierge program for visitors, patients and staff at their newest hospital. The service is free with the exception of any fees incurred by the requested service, such as a dry-cleaning bill.

“We are similar to a hotel. There is someone there to assist their needs,” said Daniels, adding the attention starts as soon as the patient enters the hospital.

The staff focus is on the littlest of details — even the patients’ dining experience. No more set meal times or cold meals waiting in the room after a long exam.

Patients are given the option of ordering their meals from customized menus in their private rooms online and selecting “whatever they want, whenever they want,” from the set menu said Daniels.

For visitors, there is a modern cafe with a variety of coffee and three food stations — a far cry from staid institutional cafeterias from years past.

“I want people to think of hospitals as a healing environment and that we went above and beyond their expectations,” said Daniels.

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